In this handout photo provided by Royal Princess and Princess Cruises, The Royal Princess, Princess Cruises' newest ship leaves port days before a naming ceremony attended by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at Ocean Terminal on June 9, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Phill Jackson/Royal Princess & Princess Cruises via Getty Images)
LONDON (AP) - The Duchess of Cambridge will officially name the new Royal Princess cruise liner at a gala ceremony.
The former Kate Middleton plans to board the vessel for the naming ceremony, which will include a blessing and the traditional smashing of a bottle across the hull.
The ceremony in Southampton on Thursday will include a brief tour of the ship for the duchess, who is expected to give birth to her and Prince William's first child in mid-July.
It is expected to be her final planned solo event before the birth.
The new 3,600-passenger ship is scheduled to begin cruising the Mediterranean this summer.